Hotel Constanza

Eixample, Barcelona, Spain Book from Eur40

Reviewed by Tom Bell
Family-run hotel with sleek design and a fab roof terrace, bringing great prices and an easy style to the centre of town
There’s a common assumption that good rooms have to cost a fortune, but the Constanza breaks that mould. Here you get style and comfort at good prices, making this a real find in Barcelona. Better still, it’s bang in the centre of town, near Plaça de Catalunya and within walking distance of major sights, fantastic shopping and a multitude of bars and restaurants.

Step inside and discover an 1826 interior that’s had a 21st-century facelift. The feel is immediately refreshing, the décor in the communal areas and the 46 rooms boldly contemporary. There are light concrete walls on one side of reception, dark wood walls on the other. Big paper lamp shades hang from the ceiling, white suede sofas and chairs fill the lobby behind. Vases of flowers stand in alcoves, and smoked-glass tables hold the morning papers. There’s also a tapas bar for light bites and, up top, a fantastic roof terrace where you can kick back with a cocktail and gaze out over the city. If you looking for a sleek, super-convenient and low-cost Barcelona base, you’ve found it.

Highs

  • A great location near the action, but away from the noisier districts
  • Sleek bedrooms, some with terraces or balconies, all with very attractive prices
  • We loved the fabulous roof terrace (open May-October), with its expansive Eixample views, white sofas and tasty cocktail menu
  • Impressive lobby with lots of smart seating areas to lounge in
  • Flexible accommodation, with single, double and twin options, plus a family room sleeping up to 4

Lows

  • The cheaper rooms are fairly small
  • The dark, masculine décor isn't to everyone's taste
  • The walls are thin and sometimes you hear more of your neighbours than you would like
  • Some first-floor rooms with bathtubs were beginning to look a little dated when we last visited in 2012, but they're being phased out
  • Breakfast is an uninspiring buffet that's not included in the rates; there are plenty of cafés nearby if you'd prefer to eat out

Best time to go

Come in spring, early summer or autumn for warm, sunny days and balmy evenings. August is the hottest month, when many restaurants close and locals leave the city in droves, and winter can be surprisingly chilly. There are numerous festivals throughout the year, including the multimedia Sonar Festival in mid-June and the Fiesta de la Virgen de la Merced (with human towers, traditional dancing and local music) on 24 September..

Our top tips

On nearby Carrer Comerç is a chocolate museum, exploring the history and art of cocoa - well worth an hour or so if you have a sweet tooth!

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
City Style
Family
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 46
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily; often closed in August)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room: Double Room

Rooms

All rooms are immaculate. The rather masculine décor blends moody tones of slate grey, midnight blue, chocolate brown and dark gold with plenty of contrasting textures and tactile surfaces. You’ll find leather or suede headboards, marble floors, voile curtains, silky bedcovers, plumped-up pillows, brushed-velvet cushions, a desk, perhaps an armchair if there’s space. You get all the necessary bits and bobs, too: sleek bathrooms, power showers, minibars, hairdryers, flat-screen TVs (note there are limited English-speaking channels), air conditioning, WiFi, good lighting, fluffy towels and a few toiletries.

On our last visit we stayed in a Superior Room overlooking a quiet courtyard at the rear of the hotel. We loved the terrace with its table and easy chairs - perfect for making the most of the evening sun. Other Superior Rooms, which can be made up with twin beds on request, have balconies opening onto the lively street below, but double-glazing helps to keep the peace at night.

Double Rooms are a little smaller, and a few have balconies or terraces. The hotel also has a couple of Single Rooms without external windows for solo travellers on a budget, plus a Family Room.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

There is never a rush to breakfast in Spain. You can always count on a lie-in and the Constanza is no different, with breakfast available until 10.30am. You get the typical Spanish continental buffet. The juice may not be freshly squeezed, but you can take your pick from pastries and croissants, quiches and cakes, cereal and fruit, cold hams and cheese, and a couple of hot options like scrambled eggs. It isn't included in the room rate, so you can also try out some of the nearby cafés or head out in search of churros y chocolate.

The hotel also has its own tapas bar, Bruc 33, which we have not sampled yet but gets good reviews; note that it often closes for a month or so around August. And the cocktails on the roof terrace (open from May to October) are superb - expensive, but worth it.

You won’t have any trouble finding a good bite beyond Constanza’s doors. Casa Calvert (in a Gaudí building) serves quite expensive Mediterranean food in a sophisticated setting, while nearby bookshop LAIE has a lovely café for lunch and coffee. You’re on the southern tip of the Eixample, and El Born, El Raval and the Barri Gòtic are all within walking distance, so you can pretty much follow your nose and end up at some fabulous eatery without having to rely too much on luck.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating: Bruc 33
Activity: Passeig de Gràcia

Activities

  • Gaudí's most famous buildings - La Pedrera, Casa Batlló and the Sagrada Familia - are all within a short walk. Another, Casa Calvert (now a restaurant), is around the corner

  • Shopaholics will find heaven on Passeig de Gràcia, which is a 5-minute stroll. You can also browse the wares at massive department store El Corte Ingles, close by on Plaça de Catalunya

  • Explore the Barri Gòtic, with its narrow, shop-lined alleyways and tree-shaded squares. Make sure you stop off at the magnificent cathedral, which has a soaring stone-laced facade, gothic gargoyles, and a gaggle of geese guarding its leafy cloister

  • Just beyond the Barri Gòtic is El Born, a trendy district packed with independent boutiques and buzzing bars.

  • Excellent museums in the city include the Picasso museum, the MACBA (Barcelona's modern art gallery, set in El Raval) and the Joan Miró foundation

  • Head north west to Nou Camp for a tour of FC Barcelona’s stadium. A short cab or metro ride will get you there within 10 minutes

  • Or head south to the beach - about 20 minutes by foot (10 by cab or metro)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome, and you're well placed to explore the city (without being in the thick of it).

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Family Rooms can sleep 4, which has a double/twin bedroom with an exterior window, an adjoining room with a double sofabed, and an ensuite bathroom. The single rooms are useful for teenagers who want their own space. Superior Rooms can hold an extra bed and baby cot.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly: Superior Room

Our guests' ratings...

8/
Rooms
6/
Food
9/
Service
8/
Value
8/
Overall

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